Courtesy of Richard Fisher
Marketing any company or institution through email can still be the most effective method, both in terms of cost and of direct market penetration, of reaching out to clients, either existing or potential.
Email marketing is certainly nothing new having been around since the very early days of the Internet. However, at one time, email marketing developed quite a stigma due to the aggressive spamming tactics that many companies employed.
Thankfully, over the last few years spamming has disappeared into the annals of history. These days, companies who wish to market using the power of email have to follow certain rules to maintain the right to use the Internet in such a fashion.
There is no escaping the fact that close to 100% of companies in the business-to-consumer sector use some form of email marketing to reach clients.
There are many rules to follow when planning an email marketing campaign designed to drive traffic to your website. Here are what may be regarded as the principal five.
1. Identify goals and discover the proper markets to target.
Businesses that are new to the world of email marketing need to invest all that it takes in terms of time and money to discover the market sector that they are looking for, as well as clearly define the goals of their campaign. There is little point in sending emails to potential customers who may not either be interested in your product or aren’t given any indication of how the products and/or services can help them.
One of the best ways to discover the answers to these questions is to take a close look at competitors in the field in which your company operates and how they may have succeeded in finding the proper blend on how to approach potential customers in the virtual marketplace.
2. Devise a schedule for sending emails and online promotion.
Once the company has decided that they have successfully completed sufficient research in defining both the goals and potential markets for the email marketing drive, the next step is to draw up a timeline-based schedule for the campaign.
This campaign could be one-off issue or part of a programme that can last indefinitely, irrespective of results achieved in the short term. Once again, statistics show that companies who plan their email marketing campaigns towards a long-term view reap the results of the investments.
3. Conduct specific research on email marketing.
Once a decision has been reached to embark on an email marketing campaign, then the next stage in the procedure is for members of the marketing staff to make themselves familiar with the nuts and bolts involved in running such a campaign. Once again, time has to be spent on learning and understanding the secrets behind a successful email campaign.
There are a few common denominators that need to be established before even the first email is sent. Research has shown that many potential customers, who may have an interest in the product or service being marketed, will eventually unsubscribe from an email newsletter. For example, if newsletter arrives too frequently or infrequently. Finding a proper balance is a key factor in establishing trust with customers.
4. Keep content up-to-date and interesting.
Businesses that have adopted a policy of sending out regular emails through a database of either existing or potential clients need to ensure that the content of emails is liable to stimulate their imagination as well as their interest. That will require taking the time and trouble to explain new products, including, if available, illustrations, developments within the company, as well as a special offers and promotions going on within the timescale that the email will be covering.
5. Allow some form of contact.
The effectiveness of an email marketing campaign is measured by the feedback it achieves, not only in terms of sales, but also in terms of leads for potential clients in the future. For that reason at least one link should be placed on the page (or pages) of the email.
Depending on what the nature of the business and the products are, marketing that link can either be very outstanding or situated unobtrusively at the bottom of the page. The important thing is that the customer is easily able to find the link to rapidly and easily make contact with the company.
These are the five most important foundations that are generally regarded as being the keys to success or failure in an email marketing campaign. Following these rules will go a long way in ensuring that the company that adopts them will see a generous return on their investment.
Richard is an e-business specialist with over 4 years experience in web development and online marketing. Aside from online marketing, Richard is an expert in Magento Entreprise edition platform and a regular tech blogger.